WHAT DO CUSTOMERS LOOK FOR IN YOUR ONLINE STORE?
Online business is becoming a high income generating trend, taking a significant portion of GDP in many countries nowadays. This is making our world a very small village, with a distance no longer serving as an obstacle. In fact, cyberspace is gaining more importance than real world markets, with physical stores often acting only as a shop front and the real income being generated in the online space.
Businesses around the Earth are becoming greatly attracted towards this virtual world. There are no limits as to what and where they can reach, the variety of products and services they can easily offer, the detail and specifications they can provide and the number of prospects and clients they can reach.
Online shopping stores remain one of the main trends of the 21st century. In this article, we provide customers insights and important tips for your e-commerce business.
Availability of Free Shipping
This is an almost essential option as nowadays customers tend to expect it from every online shopping store. In addition, buyers are found to spend up to 40% more if an online business offers free shipping. If you cannot afford this, then it is good t try to offer free shipping on specific promotional items to attract customers. A huge number of people prefer buying online to save time and money spent on going to a store, if they have to spend on shipping then they might just prefer a trip to the physical store itself. Plus, reports say that buyers are even willing to wait a few extra days if they get free delivery, giving online shopping store sellers a chance to offer even more.
In a 2014 case study, Red Door Interactive reported that a free shipping offer had increased ecommerce business orders by some 90%.
Last year, Stitch Labs found “that retailers who always offer free shipping can directly increase revenue by 10 percent.”
Monetate released a case study in 2011, reporting a 48% increase in new customer acquisition with a select free shipping offer.
Brandon Eley, owner of 2 Big Feet, reported in 2012 that free shipping had boosted his site’s conversion rate 50 percent.
In a survey from 2010, 93 percent of respondents said that free shipping encouraged them to purchase online more.
Available Payment Methods
Make sure to offer your customers the most common payment methods. The regular credit card, debit card, and Paypal are a must. Additional options will also be useful in driving up conversion rates. In addition, if you are a local store then ‘pay at door step’ may also be a convenient option for buyers since a number of users still are not sure of giving credit card information online due to security concerns.
Allow Payments without Requiring an Account
Forcing people to sign up for an account is just too intrusive for first-time customers, and it’s a main conversion killer. A usability study by Smashing Magazine found that the main reason users hate setting up an account is they expect to be flooded with promotional emails. It also pointed out that a lot of customers don’t understand why they need to sign up to buy a product when physical stores don’t require an account to buy from them. Another key disadvantage is that it adds more fields for people to fill out and prolongs the payment process.
Ease of use
It might have happened to everybody: you find in the search engine a link to the product you need, click it and close the page in a few seconds. Simply because the e-commerce website design puts you off. Or vice versa: you come to the beautifully designed online shopping site, but understand nothing of how to navigate through it.
Thus, we provide few useful tips to make sure your existing and potential customers won’t experience such problems.
Mega Menu: a huge fly-out menu with categories and subcategories list which overlays most of the page. We can see such menus on large sites such as eBay, which sells almost everything. Solution of this kind allows the simple navigation even if the catalog structure is complicated.
Final price: Show the final cost on the product page or a shopping cart page. There is nothing more outrageous than extra charges for delivery which a customer finds out about only on the last stage. It puts off him immediately.
Stand out from the crowd: In any case, the ecommerce website design should be original and unique, at least in some elements. To invent something completely new is difficult, but if your site doesn’t have any distinct feature at all, it is easy for it to be lost among other competitors. Web store original feature is the first thing a customer will remember, such as in the case of One Kings Lane:
“Add to cart” button: An obvious rule in online shop usability: the Add to cart button is call-to-action, so it should stand out from the rest of blocks and elements. It shouldn’t be less visible than, for example, “like” social media buttons.
Contact options: Among UX tips which professionals usually mention is the way you let your customers contact you. Naturally, many customers may want to get in touch with you with some questions. Ideally, internet-store should have a number for free of charge calls. Try, at least, indicate your email address and telephone number, and offer your site visitors an option to send the letter via special contact form. Live chat – a window with instant connection to the manager – can be a valuable addition to the contact options you online store is equipped with.
Return & Cancellation Policies
The rules for returns and order cancellations play a role in the customer’s decision. Customers today want increasing flexibility from merchants. Online shopping trend is seen as a risk because the customer does not physically verify the purchase. Being able to return the product and getting refunds is an added bonus for the customer. Businesses should clearly state their rules and procedures for cancelled and refunded orders.
Managing the logistics of returns is one thing. The process of refunding shoppers the money they spent on the item being returned is far from smooth either. Though retailers are definitely getting better at processing refunds faster than before, they still fall short of customers’ expectations.
Online Reviews of your Business & Blog
Encourage your customers to leave reviews and feedback, this will help you build a credible online business reputation. Customers will make purchases quickly from a business that has positive reviews. People don’t just check the Facebook page, they tend to look at objective third-party websites for reviews of the business as well. So pay attention to comments and complaints on major websites and respond appropriately. About 88% of customers say that they read reviews in order to determine the quality of products and businesses. Also, having your own blog helps as well. According to reports, about 13% buyers are influenced to buy a product after reading a blog.
Below we provide few interesting statistics showing the importance of online reviews for your business:
90% of customers read online reviews before visiting a business
88% of users trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
92% of customers will use a local business if it has at least a 4-star rating
Customers and prospects like to visit online shopping stores. They enjoy the convenience, the speed and therefore time-saving, ease of transport, the way they can compare prices and check online product reviews, the lack of pressuring by sales people and, of course, the infinite choice. Running an online business is potentially profitable, but challenging task, requiring to take an enormous number of factors into account.
Would you want Blueninja.io help you with the development of a great online shopping store for your business? Give us a call anytime! The highly-qualified team of Blueninja.io provides an unforgettable experience for businesses and their clients through innovative digital solutions. Website design & Mobile Development, Web Application Development services, E-commerce web systems, SEO, Google Adwords and Social Media Marketing are just a small part of a wide service portfolio, opening doors to enormous opportunities for your business success. Stay connected with Blueninja.io and be the first who will read our next article!
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